Monday, January 22, 2007
Take this story from The New York Times for example.
The bugler sounded his call. A bone-numbing chill rushed through the paddock, tearing into the jockey’s silks and biting at his skin.In the story that follows, the writer details Amonte's beginnings in the sport, what it takes to be successful as a jockey and takes the reader onto the horse's back with Amonte. Nothing particularly pertinent to my life - I don't plan on switching careers any time soon - but yet, I continued reading to the end.
In the day’s ninth race, Mr. Amonte guided Eightyninecentsday, a long shot, across the finish line.
It was the ninth and last race on Saturday, a frigid afternoon at Aqueduct, and the only people left in the stands and on the track were those down to their last chance.
“Go get ’em, Frankie,” someone yelled from the crowd gathering along the rail. “Go get ’em, old man.”
Frank Amonte Sr., the wiry 71-year-old jockey, hadn’t won a race in his last 61 tries. He probably will not make it to the Hall of Fame. He has never ridden in the Kentucky Derby, or indeed in any major race. And at his age, he would not be considered by many trainers for the quality mounts they give to big-time jockeys.
But he was chasing something far more important to him than a catalog of impressive wins: the one victory that would make him the only jockey over 70 to win a race.
The story struck me, I supposed because I'm embarking on a story about the mundane, yet unusual myself. I won't give away details because I've learned that some employees of my competitor also read this blog (waves). But the NYT story just gave me a sense of what could be done in a few hundred words, with some vivid detail and good storytelling.
And big ups to the reporter who wrote it - YBJ/NABJ's own Trymaine Lee, of Pulitzer Prize-winning fame.
You go, boy. continue...